How Dianne Feinstein’s Husband Sells Post Office Real Estate to His Friends on the Cheap

The county records allow for comparing the assessed value of the postal properties before they were sold to the final sales prices negotiated by CBRE on behalf of the Postal Service: And the comparisons reveal that CBRE has sold the bulk of this public real estate at prices under their assessed values — and apparently at far below fair market values.

CBRE is also charged with appraising the fair market value of these properties and listing a reasonable sales price. It is important to point out that real estate appraisals are not customarily performed by the agent marketing the property. To avoid conflicts of interest, property appraisals are normally performed by professionals not involved in negotiating the sale.

- Peter Byrne from his book Going Postal

We’ve all heard about how the Russian oligarchs amassed their tremendous fortunes in the wake of the collapse of the former Soviet Union by purchasing valuable assets for pennies on the dollar using shady insider deals. The oligarchs in the USA have learned their lessons in crony capitalism well, and unsurprisingly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in this case. Dianne Feinstein is one of the most shameless, authoritarian, undemocratic Senators we have, so it is no surprise that the Princess of Darkness’ husband would be involved in schemes to rip-off public assets to benefit friends and his commercial real estate firm C.B. Richard Ellis.

The following excerpts are from an article published in the East Bay Express and consists of passages from the introductory chapter of a new e-book, Going Postal, by investigative journalist Peter Byrne. There is some epic fraud going on here:

On July 27, two hundred people sang and chanted on the steps of the historic main post office in downtown Berkeley to protest its upcoming closure and sale. City Councilman Jesse Arreguin took the microphone to angrily decry the closure. In fact, the Berkeley City Council had voted unanimously to oppose the sale. Why the day of rage?

But inconvenience alone did not account for the existential angst being expressed by the mostly over-fifty members of the throng as they questioned the motives of the United States Postal Service for selling post offices all over the country to developers. “Which of our public assets will be privatized next?” speakers asked. “Streets? Schools? The Lincoln Bedroom?”

The post office is being killed for political reasons, they assert, pointing out that the corporation with the exclusive contract to negotiate sales for the Postal Service’s $85 billion real estate portfolio is C.B. Richard Ellis (CBRE). And that the company is chaired by Richard C. Blum, who is the husband of US Senator Dianne Feinstein and a member of the University of California Board of Regents. CBRE’s connection to a politically powerful family with a history of accessing public pension funds to make private investments has caused more than a few activists to suspect wrongdoing — even though no evidence of any conflicts of interest tied to the CBRE contract have been revealed.

Until now.

My yearlong investigation has uncovered evidence of multiple conflicts of interest and problems with post office sales supervised by Blum’s company, including:

• CBRE appears to have repeatedly violated its contractual duty to sell postal properties at or above fair market values.

• CBRE has sold valuable postal properties to developers at prices that appear to have been steeply discounted from fair market values, resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars in public revenue.

• In a series of apparently non-arm’s-length transactions, CBRE negotiated the sale of postal properties all around the country to its own clients and business partners, including to one of its corporate owners, Goldman Sachs Group.

• CBRE has been paid commissions as high as 6 percent by the Postal Service for representing both the seller and the buyer in many of the negotiations, thereby raising serious questions as to whether CBRE was doing its best to obtain the highest price possible for the Postal Service.

• Senator Feinstein has lobbied the Postmaster General on behalf of a redevelopment project in which her husband’s company was involved.

The county records allow for comparing the assessed value of the postal properties before they were sold to the final sales prices negotiated by CBRE on behalf of the Postal Service: And the comparisons reveal that CBRE has sold the bulk of this public real estate at prices under their assessed values — and apparently at far below fair market values.

When these findings were shared with Chuck Zlatkin, Legislative and Political Director of the New York Metro Area Postal Union, he said, “Shocking as this information is, it is not surprising because we have seen a pattern of corruption at the Post Office ever since the manufacture of the health care benefit prepayment crisis. It is certainly not permissible for CBRE to sell property paid for by the public to its own business partners, or to anyone else, at a discount. In my opinion, CBRE’s conflicts of interest contain an element of fraud.”

CBRE Group Inc. was given a list of the key facts and analysis reported in this investigation. Through its spokesman Philip Russo, the company declined to comment.

Of course they did…

CBRE is also charged with appraising the fair market value of these properties and listing a reasonable sales price. It is important to point out that real estate appraisals are not customarily performed by the agent marketing the property. To avoid conflicts of interest, property appraisals are normally performed by professionals not involved in negotiating the sale.

Responding to a FOIA request through a staff attorney, Postmaster Patrick Donahoe categorically refused to disclose CBRE’s appraisals. Attorney Jeff Meadows said that CBRE’s appraisals do not need to be disclosed to the public because such information is “commercially sensitive” and it is comparable to a “national security” secret (even though the appraisals are not classified). The Postal Service eventually released the final sales price for each property sold by CBRE and CBRE’s sales invoices, which recorded the amount of its commissions (2 to 6 percent). The appraisal figures, however, remain secret.

If the public finds out the appraisal values the terrorists win!

During the first two years of its contract, CBRE sold the 52 properties it had picked to market for millions of dollars less than their assessed values. For example, in Seattle, CBRE sold a post office building in 2011 for $8 million that was assessed at $16 million. And earlier this year, it sold a seventeen-story office building in St. Paul, Minnesota for $20 million under the 2009 value assessed for it shortly before it was put on the market by CBRE.

But in a series of non-arm’s-length transactions, CBRE has sold 20 percent of its postal portfolio to its own clients and/or business partners. In Boston, it sold a parcel at a large discount of its assessed value to a developer with whom it was partnered. And it sold another Boston parcel to one of its largest shareholders, Goldman Sachs Group. Real estate industry ethics require agents to get the best deal for their clients (in this case, the US Postal Service), not for their business partners and owners.

CBRE kept the entire seller/buyer commission of up to 6 percent in 34 of 52 transactions. In the majority of these deals, CBRE appears to have represented the interests of the buyer as well as those of the seller, even though CBRE was originally contracted to represent only the interests of the Postal Service.

Astonishingly, CBRE’s contract was amended in 2012, at the request of CBRE, to allow it to negotiate on behalf of both the Postal Service and prospective buyers.

The Postal Service was given a list of the key facts and analysis reported in this investigation. Through his spokesman, David Partenheimer, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe declined to comment.

No comment!

Now for the kicker:

Richard C. Blum did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

You know what this makes me want to say: USA! USA!

Full article here:

In Liberty,
Mike

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21 Comments

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  1. Americans in Poll Doubt Economy Rebound in Defiance of Forecasts

    Political Conflicts

    Public dissatisfaction with the economy is also linked to growing distress over the nation’s political conflicts. Only 25 percent of those surveyed said the U.S. is on the right track — the lowest mark since September 2011, a month after Standard & Poor’s downgraded U.S. government debt. Sixty-eight percent say the country is headed down the wrong track.

    “You have a bunch of politicians in both parties arguing the finer points and doing nothing about the long run,” says Sams. “Both sides are wrong. Going forward, it’s only going to get worse.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-25/americans-in-poll-doubt-economy-rebound-in-defiance-of-forecasts.html

    While we complain,the politicians drain…u$.

  2. I believe you are seeing an old playbook of the Bush family and Leonard Millman and friends. Look at the letters of incorporation and get the names of the officers and benefactors, follow the money. Talk with Stu Webb for the background.

  3. You should see how my bus loads of tourists respond when I point out Diane Feinstein s house in a city tour. Taxpayers are not so stupid. I also worked at Richard Blum s office in 2000. Himalayan thankas all over the walls and Buddhist monks, all male, in orange robes roaming the hallways.

  4. All I want to read is her obituary

  5. Can someone find one area of govt not completely compromised by private interests extracting wealth from the public with the complicity of, or directed by, our fearless leaders on both sides of the aisle (and appointees+ high placed bureaucrats, inc. military) who also benefit financially while, but especially after being in office? One? F*cking ONE? We have a sham of a democracy, our rights have been eviscerated, we’re spied on, our tax dollars fund al Queda in addition to illegal wars and the phoney GWOT used as the justification for both a bloated MIC and the tyrannical police state put in place, police terrorize the public and steal their property using confiscation laws meant for drug kingpins, the War on Drugs incarceration scheme enriches private prison operators and destroys families while preventing the world’s greatest plant (and its cousin hemp) from saving the soil, saving lives, and saving toxins from entering the environment so the profits of big pharma, big cotton, and big chem can be saved, fracking is fracking killing the land while the energy co.s rip off the landholders they lease from whole poisoning their water, Monsanto poisons us while enslaving farmers and are now being shielded from court challenges, every market is rigged by TBTF banks- Every. Single. One. Pensions are being eviscerated, SS and medicare and food stamps are under attack, corporations make record profits while paying shit wages and paying ever-lower taxes, if any at all, while getting paid to offshore and outsource, our infrastructure is in tatters, our media is one big psy-op propaganda machine, elections are compromised, unemployment is rampant, inequality is at world-record levels (as in the history of the world), health care is a mess with Obamacare set to entrench the system and enrich the insurance industry further, education is a joke and going to college means indebting oneself for life, and most of the public has no clue about half of even one of those issues. Psychopaths rule the world, psychopathy and apathy grip the nation. But there is hope. More people are waking up, turning away from msm, and realizing both parties are corrupt beyond redemption. Mass public outcry just stopped a war for the first time in history. And I really didn’t intend to rant but there you have it. It’s vital we prevent Syria from becoming Libya, Assad didn’t gas his own people. Our terrorists did, and Obama abd Kerry are lying about it. It’s also vital people stop the TPP, and call for Tepco to be removed from the equation because the fuel-rod removal operation set to take place at Fukushima could become the most catastrophic disaster in human history, easily, and they are the worlds most inept company. Believe it.

  6. The USA will never recover until they get all the Satanic Jew parasites out of government, Wall St and the media. Jews are the most evil group to ever exist and live to destroy the societies they infest. There’s a reason Jews have been hated throughout history!

    • I only approved your moronic comment, to prove how moronic it is. My dad is Jewish and I was raised that way, so you should hate me and my site. We are so evil! Grow up and discuss issues rather than fantasies.

      • He wasn’t speaking about the average Jew, who is just as victimized (if not more so) as the rest of us, but by Organized Jewry – AIPAC, ADL, SPLC, and, of course, the Banksters.

        • Then that person should name specific organizations or people he or she has issues with. Demonizing a group of people based on religion, ethnicity, race, nationality or anything else is childish and more importantly unproductive. It falls right into the hands of the controlling elite. All “groups” have sick sociopaths, so it’s about issues, institutions and systems. Blaming groups of people is a sign of laziness and low intelligence.

          • It is human nature to see things in a group. Zionists is more properly the name for the group.

            Unfortunately the “leaders” of the group have shown that they are not a blessing to the earth. This tends to impact everyone around them.

            There are many Jews, some very devout, who strongly oppose Zionism. These Jews are rarely seen or heard due to mass media control. Perhaps you could give them some media. Here’s one group: NETUREI KARTA, Jews United against Zionism, http://www.nkusa.org/

            Here’s another group: TRUE TORAH JEWS, http://www.truetorahjews.org/

            It’s an opportunity to clear the air.

  7. Feinstein, is easily the most despicable politician California has ever had. She has presided over millions of foriegn nationals, illegaly entering California and she has supported all of it. Every thing she proposes, somehow always benefits the Feinstein family,etc. She is if not an outright criminal, a person who has committed so many improprieties in her position as a public employee, that she should be ashamed, but she has no shame.

  8. Michael, I think a lot of Jews get flack because of U.S. policy towards Israel. It’s sad, because I have played in sporting events along with some of my other buddies, with guys from a Jewish background. People have to know each other on a personal level and that often doesn’t happen in this disunited society. I once played in a softball championship,at the beach in California, along with my buddy and his Jewish friend Dan. We stayed at Dans Parents house in San Diego, California, and Dans mom got up at 5 o’clock in the morning to make us bacon and eggs, before we had to go play. It was so touching to me, as I had never had this experience with any other family,etc. Peace.

    • Thanks for sharing that I completely agree. It is all about experience with others to dismantle ignorance. For example, had I not worked on Wall Street I would think everyone there is a raging, greedy immoral psycho. But did work there, and I can tell you 95% or more of the people have no freakin’ clue how anything works and are as asleep and dumbed down as the population at large. It’s the executives at the top of the firms who are the problem by and large. The problem is that complete and total sociopaths are in charge and they utilize slave-type systems. No race, religion or ethnicity has a monopoly on sociopaths.

      Thanks again,
      Michael Krieger

  9. I hope one day these people are put in a jail cell where they belong.

  10. There is only one person responsible. Impeach him.

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